How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of air pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. In many cases, source control for air quality is also a more cost-efficient approach to protecting indoor air quality than increasing ventilation because increasing ventilation can increase energy costs.

Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate and serves as a simple form of air cleaners. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.

It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate high levels of pollutants–for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, sanding, model making and gluing.

However, remember that for most indoor air quality problems in the home, source control is the most effective solution.

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¿Cómo el aire dentro de nuestra casa se puede contaminar?

Green homeGeneralmente pensamos que en la contaminación atmosférica esta en el aire libre, pero el aire en nuestras casas podría también ser contaminado.

Las fuentes de la contaminación de interior incluyen:

  • Moho y Polen
  • El humo del tabaco
  • Los gases que emiten pesticidas caseros, monóxido de carbón, radón.
  • Materiales de construcción como asbestos, formaldehído y plomo.

Se ha dicho mucho sobre ventilación apropiada, y que si no tenemos bastante aire fresco que entra en nuestras casas, agentes contaminadores puede acumularse a  niveles que pueden plantear problemas de salud inmediatos y afectar nuestra comodidad.

Siguiente: ¿Cómo mejoramos la calidad del aire en nuestros hogares?

 

How does our air inside the house get polluted?

Green homeMuch can be said about proper ventilation, for if we don’t have enough fresh air entering the home, then pollutants can accumulate to levels which can pose immediate health problems and affect our comfort.

We usually think of air pollution as being outdoors, but the air in your house or office could also be polluted. Sources of indoor pollution include:

  • Mold and pollen
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Household products and pesticides
  • Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide
  • Materials used in the building such as asbestos, formaldehyde and lead.

Usually indoor air quality problems only cause discomfort. Most people feel better as soon as they remove the source of the pollution.

Next: How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 

 

 

 

 

How Do Homes Impact Health?

  1. Indoor air pollution is 4 – 5 times worse than outdoor air and sometimes even greater.
  2. We spend 90% of our time indoors.
  3. 15% of homeowners may be allergic to elements in their own homes.
  4. Prevalence of asthma has double since 1976.

Indoor air pollution has been described by EPA and Congress as America’s number one environmental health problem. Air pollutants can and do cause allergies, sick building syndrome, bacterial infections and spread viruses to name a few. The American College of Allergists state that 50% of all illnesses are caused by polluted indoor air.  NEXT: How does our air inside the house get polluted?

Is home remodeling worth the investment?

Is home remodeling worth the investment?

painting a homeMore Renovations are not Necessarily Better. Before you begin any major projects, it’s important to assess your home’s value and the neighborhood it’s in. Determine what it will be the approximate return on the investment (ROI) based on the current market value or how long you plan on staying in the house.

Be sure that your home renovations will add to the value of your home, but also aware that getting too extravagant may not bring the ROI you’re expecting.

The value of remodeling projects depends on several factors. First, take in consideration how old is the structure of the building, as well as, the general condition and the real need for the home-remodeling project.

The appearance of a house on the outside is what gives an initial and lasting impression.   Keep the exterior paint in good condition with no flakes or chips and roof should be clear of damaged shingles.

If paint on window shutters or trim is chipped, a new coat will refresh them and give your house a whole new look. These are inexpensive investments that are worth the cost.

Bath and kitchen areas are the most important rooms within a home. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can cost thousands of dollars but in many cases all they need is some sprucing up with paint or new floor material.

If the kitchen cabinets are in good condition, do not replace them with a complete kitchen remodeling job. They can be sanded and painted or stained for a lot less money. Replacing the knobs and handles will do the job as well giving them a whole new look and won’t cost a great deal of money.

Replacing an antiquated bathroom vanity and an old toilet is not very expensive and is not considered a major bathroom remodeling job. New bathroom fixtures from bathroom designer warehouses at cut-rate prices are also good options. Updating an old sink is as well inexpensive remodeling task. All these home-remodeling projects are worth the investment.

Be aware, that you don’t want to do work that makes your house worth $800,000. when the average market in your area is only $500,000.

Certain home renovations are a win-win situation, providing enjoyment to you, the homeowner, and then making your home more marketable, and worth more, in the future. Other renovations, however, can set you back thousands with no guarantee of future payoff on the Return of the Investment (ROI).

Don’t exceed the ceiling for the value of the homes in your neighborhood, or you won’t get your money back. Remodeling can cost a pretty penny, however it can provide significant returns when it comes time to sell your home, if you do it right!

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Your Home: Modern or Traditional?

Your Home: Modern or Traditional?

fantastic-modest-white-color-scheme-living-roomNothing is extra comfortable than coming back to our homes, full of heat and love after taking care of  stack of issues at work.

Decorating or redesigning our homes should not be thought as an expensive or complicated activity.

We have to make sure that the design Open Plan Livingwe choose will be sophisticated rather than unnecessary. Color, style and balance are not a neutral sort of thing. It affects us and how we see our surroundings.

The usage of appropriate color scheme and fabrics to emphasize and provide light for the rooms in our home play a very important role.     Balance is the most important part of home decorating, and it applies to colors as Luxury Home Kitchen.well. They have the power to affect        how we perceive things.

Room colors can influence our mood and our thoughts. Colors affect people in many ways, depending upon one’s age, gender, ethnic background or local climate. So when it comes to decorating, it is important to choose wisely.

You do not have to worry too much about trends, as they come and go. Make your home beautiful by choosing Colors and styles that reflect your personality.  Have fun!

Mortgage Rates slightly higher

Mortgage Rates slightly higher

Finding-a-refinance-rate-for-your-homeMortgage rates are higher today, leaving September as one of only 3 months this year with noticeable upward movement.

And today was an exception to that recent trend, but it’s tempered by the fact that yesterday’s gains were the best of the month.

The only downside is that the most prevalently-quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers remains 4.25% whereas it would have likely moved to 4.125% if rate went the other direction today.

These movement considerations may be small scale compared to what lies ahead.  Several big tickets events are coming up in the second half of this week and they stand a good chance to increase the level of volatility.

September:  Highest Consumer Confidence

September: Highest Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence reached its highest level since the Great Recession in September, according to the Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

consumer-confidenceSeptember’s increase in consumer confidence is the result of optimistic outlooks on the overall economy and personal incomes.  The consumer expectations index rose 5.8 percent over the month of September, while the current conditions index fell 0.9 percent.

Additionally, a growing number of consumers expect their incomes to increase over the next year. The median income growth expectation reported in September was 1.1 percent, which is the highest expectation since late 2008. At the same time, more households anticipate income growth now than at any time since September 2008.

The renewal of income growth is particularly important for sparking consumer spending, and adding pending changes to monetary policy will make income gains prompt to boost even more consumer’s confidence.

80,000 Foreclosures prevented!

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) indicated in its report on foreclosure prevention  for Q2 2014 released on September 24, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  prevented nearly 80,000 foreclosures nationwide in the second quarter, raising the total number of foreclosures prevented since the start of the conservatorship in September 2008 to 3.3 million.

fThe measures taken by the two GSEs to prevent foreclosures have helped about 2.7 million borrowers remain in their homes in the last six years, with approximately 1.7 million of those borrowers receiving permanent loan modifications. The number of foreclosures prevented is down 10 percent from Q1, when GSE measures stopped almost 89,000 foreclosures.

FHFA reports as well that about 37 percent of those who received permanent loan modifications were able to reduce their monthly payments by more than 30 percent in second quarter.

New homes sales see biggest monthly jump!

New homes sales see biggest monthly jump!

Sales of new single family houses in August 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, up from July’s printing of 427,000, the fastest rate in six years and the biggest monthly jump since January 1992.

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The biggest gains and by far the reason for the big increase were new home sales in the West, one of the two largest housing markets, along with the South.

New home sales in the West were up 50% over July.

The South saw an 8% increase. The South is by far the largest region for new home sales, outdistancing all other regions combined.

The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2014 was $275,600; the average sales price was $347,900.